Greater Vancouver Real Estate Blog

Our blog features original content and news covering the areas our team lives and works in – New Westminster, Burnaby, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Port Moody, and Vancouver. We cover a range of topics from news, for Buyers and Sellers such as buying your first home,  winning in a multiple offer, improving curb appeal when selling and buying an investment property.

Letting go of the house you grew up in

Letting go of the house you grew up in

My parents generation may have coined the phrase “you’ll have to carry me out of this house in a box”. This was a generation that was proud to be home owners. They didn’t move around like we do today. The general sentiment in the 50’s was to buy a house and live there until you die. Not a bad plan if you ask me.

Today home ownership is viewed as much as an investment as it is a privilege. The cost of housing is at an all time high. Modern buyers tend to buy the minimum amount of space they need, expecting to move with each major life event: getting married, having a baby ect…

For my generation (born in the 70’s) saying goodbye to the house we grew up in is coming up more and more as our parents age. Some of our parents are looking forward to this time of anticipated freedom. To finally give up the big family home, to spend more time traveling or just less time doing yard work. Some have every intention of “being carried out in a box”. There is no right or wrong answer – this is a highly personal decision.

Many children of aging parents feel they should be included in the decision to sell the family home. You are probably just as connected to the house that you grew up in as the actual legal owners (your parents). But you have to come to terms with the fact letting it go might not be a decision you have any control over.

We are also starting to see an emerging trend of children who choose to keep the family home in the family, especially in single child families. The cost of housing has spurred an economic need similar to what we have seen in other countries for centuries. Land owners pass down the family estate generation to generation.

Give us a call if it’s time to talk about downsizing. We have the experience you can trust when it comes to such a big decision.

Happily living with less

Happily living with less

The Suburban dream has changed in and around Vancouver.  Where most of us have grown up with a back yard large enough to set up a volleyball net and a big unfinished basement to use as a rec room, times have changed. Modern families have a mortgage helper in the basement and a lane way house in the back yard or don’t live in a detached home at all.

To my generation, the people that grew up in the 80’s this all seems so wrong, we all assumed we would give our kids the same suburban life we had. Then all of a sudden Vancouver popped up into an international city and everything changed. Our urban landscape is more high rises than North Shore mountains these days.

To the younger generation though, they are growing up in apartments condos and townhomes, and they don’t know any different. Some urban families, with both parents working are even giving preference to the convenience of the condo lifestyle. No yard work on the weekends, no cleaning gutters or other maintenance duties and less worries about home security because nobody is home during the day.

What is very telling about the transition away from detached homes and into strata buildings is the pricing of large “family sized” condos and townhomes. In many cases a 3 bedroom condo or townhome costs almost as much as buying a fully detached home.

If you are tossing up whether to buy a detached home or condo give us a call to book an appointment. We can help provide sound advice when it comes to figuring out your housing needs. Click here to contact us

Are you buying a house or buying a home?

Are you buying a house or buying a home?

You can try to rationalize it every which way but most people choose their home emotionally. I have lost count of the number of times a home has looked perfect on paper to a client. It’s checked all the boxes. Yet when we get there in person, to see the home in real life it just doesn’t “feel right”.

Sure there are exceptions to every rule. In most cases though, if you are looking to purchase a space to live in, the life you live is as much a part of the decision as the space itself.

A question many first time home buyers ask is “how will I know when I have found the right home?” However I have never met a first time buyer who didn’t know when they had found the “right home”. Most say they just “knew”.

There is even a lot of debate in the news lately about housing being more than an investment. The sentiment runs deep that a place to live is more than numbers on a paper and should not be treated like investing in the stock market. Just ask any homeowner who “fell in love” with their home at first sight and I am sure they will agree.

Buying a home is an intensely personal experience. Don’t be afraid to give yourself permission to just keep looking if you need to. Even when a house logically measures up on all the points, it may still fall short in the “I love my home” department.

If it’s time to consider buying your next home or your first home, get in touch today to book your free no obligation home buyers consultation. Not ready to book an appointment? Grab a copy of our free home buyers guide!

Home Valuations online

Home Valuations online

When people are thinking of selling they often take to the internet, you would think it would be simple to find home valuations online. Finding homes for sale is as easy as typing “homes near me” in the google search bar. But how do you find out what the actual sold prices are?

BC assessment publishes the sold prices of homes once the sales have registered. However the real estate market is changing daily. The time between when a home has received an offer and completed could be many months.

The most accurate way to receive an assessment of value for you home is to have a realtor or an appraiser come for an in person appointment. To view your home in person and create a value report. This will show how your home compares to other homes in the area and what the similar homes are selling for.

If you are just not ready to have someone come over and do a formal assessment, you could try out our home valuations online. It’s easy to use and offered for free! Just type in your address and the report generator will deliver an automated sales report straight to your inbox! Really there is not gimmick or waiting around its really that simple!

Go ahead give it a try and be sure to let us know what you think! Click here to receive your free report.

How to Buy a House

How to Buy a House

The prospect of purchasing a home can seen overwhelming! The sheer price tag of real estate itself can seem daunting. But don’t worry if you are considering purchasing a home, there is financing for that!

The first hurdle, for many first time home buyers, is getting together the down payment. The Bank of Canada (ie law makers for house purchase financing) require a home buyer to have at least 5% down payment and no you can’t borrow that off a credit card. You must prove that money has been in your bank account for at least 3 months. As an example if you are looking to buy a condo for $500,000. The first step is to save up the down payment of $25,000 or convince your parents to gift it to you. Down payment gifting is allowed but down payment borrowing is not.

Once you have figured out your down payment, you will need to get pre-qualified for a mortgage. A mortgage is what getting financing on a house is called. A mortgage will typically stretch out much longer than what you might expect. Most homes are financed over 30 years! There are 2 steps to the mortgage process. The first is pre-qualification where your bank or lender will qualify you. The second step is once you have found a place you would like to buy they will qualify the property also!

Now that you have your down payment and your pre-qualification in line, the fun part is getting out there and shopping for a home. This is where I come in, my job is to help you make the absolute best buying decision possible! By assessing your needs and budget making suggestions. By preparing a detailed pricing strategy to make sure you don’t overpay for your dream home. We’ll be hitting the road for private showings, the weekends for open houses and if your budget allows new development and pre-sales centers.

Looking to learn more about the process of searching and making an offer on your dream home. Download our first time home buyers guide!

Port Coquitlam Real Estate

Port Coquitlam Real Estate

Locals lovingly refer to the 3 sister areas of Coquitlam, Port Moody and Port Coquitlam as the Tri-Cities. However each community has its own vibe and unique personality.

Port Coquitlam real estate has been underscored lately as the last “affordable” location before you are officially pushed out of the one hour community radius of downtown Vancouver. Port Coquitlam has a quieter vibe than its counterparts of Coquitlam and Port Moody. Where the extension of the Skytrain evergreen line has spurred the creation of micro-down towns. There are clusters of high rises resonating around the Skytrain stops. There is but a single hi-rise in Port Coquitlam over 4 stories! For commuters Port Coquitlam offers the west coast express commuter train or of course a short bus ride to connect with the Coquitlam Centre transit hub.

Port Coquitlam offers a wide selection of both strata and non-strata living spaces. As families migrate to the Eastern Lower Mainland with increasing prices, Port Coquitlam still offers many mid-market housing opportunities for families. Many 2 bedroom condos for under $500,000.  Also true non-stacked town homes in the $600,000 to $700,000 range. These are most appealing to families as the properties are becoming increasingly difficult to find in more westerly locations.

Families looking for detached homes are also drawn to Port Coquitlam. Port Coquitlam has the large stock of “traditional” suburban sized lots with classic 2 story homes. With currently half the detached housing stock listed on the market for sale at under one million dollars. It offers many more detached home options than other communities. For example detached homes under a million dollars are about 3% of the active inventory in the neighboring community of Coquitlam.

There is a home for young people and first time home buyers too! With many entry level condos centered around South PoCo’s shopping district a young commuter can live car free while enjoying great coffee shops and the summer farmers market.

Greater Vancouver real estate blog Last updated: 2017-12-17T00:30:52+00:00 Author: elise